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Sarah Erlich

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Sarah Erlich

Sarah Erlich

Name of Host Organization: Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
City, State: Los Angeles, California
Issue area: Housing/Homelessness
Sponsors: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

The Project

Address child lead poisoning in Los Angeles County via two Medical-Legal Partnerships through direct representation, housing litigation, community education, and policy reform.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Lead poisoning is an irreversible condition that can lead to significant physical illness, cognitive impairment, and behavioral problems. Many parents of at-risk children are limited English speakers and/or undocumented immigrants who are especially vulnerable to exploitation because they do not know their rights as tenants, and fear that seeking assistance when their children become ill will lead to retaliation. Many incidences of lead poisoning are undetected.
The Right Person For This Project
Sarah is the right person for the project because:
• She has fought for clients to obtain safe, affordable housing
• Her relationship with the community began in 2007
• She has successfully worked to enact state legislation
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship
In the first six months, Sarah will:
• Establish a protocol to systemically identify affected children
• Develop educational programs for doctors, parents, and landlords
• Begin pursuing lead remediation through affirmative litigation